Athlete of the Month: Eugenia Li

A slice of a Baldwin athlete’s journey of the sport she loves


Photography by Sophia Ran '23

College-bound athlete Eugenia Li ’23 on the squash courts.

Squash player. John and Hank Green superfan. Fighter. 

All these words describe Baldwin squash co-captain Eugenia Li ‘23. As one of the leading figures on our nationally-ranked team, Li has successfully made leaps and bounds to become the athlete she is today. 

Unlike many squash players, Li kicked off her astounding career later in her life, at age 10. After witnessing the Baldwin squash team win at Nationals, she decided to give the sport a go, with encouragement from her parents. One year later, Li had fallen in love with the sport, and she made the decision to drop her previous commitments to tennis and golf in order to focus solely on squash. 

As expected of one of the top players in the country, Li trains relentlessly year-round. During the winter, she spends nine hours each week on the Baldwin and Haverford squash courts playing with the team, in clinics, and in lessons. In the summer, you can find Li diligently practicing in grueling morning lessons, two-hour squash camps, and fitness workouts. 

When asked what the proudest moment in her Baldwin career was, she said it was last year at Nationals when the team came in second place. 

While Li explained the team’s mixed feelings of joy and disappointment about falling short of first place by only two points, she proudly recalled how “playing a girl ranked top ten in the world in that glass court at the Arlen Specter Center” and even managing to “get a game off her” was thrilling. 

Li displayed her tenacity during her recovery process post-COVID, after she hit a “low point” in her career. Despite fighting symptoms of the yips—a sudden loss of an athlete’s ability to perform as usual—Li persevered through her training and ended her season as number one in the country.  

Li’s skill as an individual player, along with her leadership ability, allows her to truly shine as a Baldwin squash team captain. She emphasized the necessity of being selfless and “learning how to turn individuality into an actual team where we all support each other.” 

Although she acknowledged the fact that squash is an individual sport, Li said that “understanding that the team comes first is really important to ultimately having a great outcome for everyone.” 

When you’re as dedicated a student athlete as Li, finding balance between school and athletics can be difficult. Li explained that she gets her schoolwork done during free periods and the time before practice.

“I’m always so impressed by the way Eugenia balances academics and athletics,” said classmate Makenna Walko ‘23. “She’s such an amazing athlete.”

For Li, the hard work is worth it, since squash is the sport she can see herself  “playing for the rest of [her] life.” It has helped her “grow as a person” and provided a way to “be competitive while connecting with friends and family.”

 As she prepares to move to the next stage in her squash career at Columbia University, Li is confident that by continuing to hone her time-management skills and passion, she’ll be ready to contribute just as much to Columbia’s squash team. 

“It will be a reflection of my Baldwin career,” she said.